Italian Mac and Cheese is the ultimate macaroni and cheese dish that tastes so amazing and is not as one noted as a traditional macaroni and cheese dish.
The ingredients are very simple in this Italian mac and cheese.
The Ingredients are:
- Peas (optional but highly recommended)
- Egg Noodles
- Heavy cream
- A touch of butter
It is pure deliciousness! You do not need to make a heavy sauce with flour and butter for this one.
This dish I have been making for years and it has become a dish I make for family events, potlucks, BBQs and any other large gatherings that I go to. It is really easy to prepare making it one of those dishes that I feel confident turning to in a pinch and knowing everyone will love it.
This Italian Mac and Cheese uses a wide egg noodle instead of the traditional elbow macaroni. The egg noodles give a nice bite and texture and the tops get nice and crisped when baking in the oven.
That is the other part of this dish that I love is that it is baked in the oven. Similar to a baked ziti, you will have those nice crisped up pieces of pasta on the top and on the sides. These are always my favorite part of the dish.
I call this Italian mac and cheese because it uses only Italian cheeses in the dish. The fontina that is in the dish gets nice and melted and gives off a beautiful nutty flavor while the Parmesan imparts its delicious nutty and salty taste and helps the top crisp up.
I do like to use butter on the top of this macaroni and cheese to help it brown up. more and it adds more flavor. It is not an outrageous amount, just a little bit.
I love serving this as a main dish with a quick light salad on the side. A light spinach and mushroom salad is my favorite. I also try to (or hope) have some for leftovers for lunch the next day because it re-heats so well.
Unlike traditional American macaroni and cheese that is thick and gooey, this sauce will be more like a light creamy alfredo sauce with some cheese pull dispersed in each bite.
This dish makes a great make ahead dish that you can easily re-heat by adding some aluminum foil over the top of the pan and throwing it into a hot oven. You could make it on the weekend and re-heat it on a weekday for a no cook dinner.
If you like this Italian mac and cheese you might want to try out some of my other Italian recipes:
Italian Macaroni and Cheese
- 9×11 oven safe baking dish
- 24 ounces of extra wide egg noodles 2 large bags
- 1 pint heavy cream
- 10 ounces shredded Fontina Cheese
- 8 ounces ham steak cubed
- 1 cup frozen peas or fresh (but not canned)
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan 1/2 cup is for the filling and the remainder for the topping
- 1/4 cup whole milk You can also substitute with more heavy cream for a more decadent sauce.
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 clove garlic finely minced
- pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees
- Start preparing your ingredients by mincing your garlic, cutting your ham into cubes, and grating your fontina and Parmesan cheese
- In a large bowl add your diced ham steak, heavy cream, minced garlic, salt, peas, 3/4 of you fontina cheese and 1/2 of your Parmesan cheese. Reserve the remaining cheese for the topping.
- Mix well and set aside.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil
- When it is boiling, add your egg noodles and cook until it is still firm but not cooked all the way through. This is usually 3 minutes less than the instructions for al dente on the pasta package.
- When it is cooked, drain the pasta and add it to your bowl of cream, ham and cheese and mix well.
- Now add 1/4 cup of whole milk (or more heavy cream if you want it more decadent.
- Mix well.
- Pour your noodle mixture into your baking dish.
- Now sprinkle the remaining Fontina and Parmesan cheese evenly over top.
- Cut your butter into small cubes and sprinkle this evenly over the top of the cheese.
- Place your dish into the pre-heated oven and bake for 30-45 minutes until the cheese is nice and brown on top and you can see the noodles and sauce bubbling. If the noodles brown before it is done baking just cover the top with aluminum foil and finish baking.